DevSecOps Best Practices to Follow In 2021

Jan 17 23:49 2021 Cyril James Print This Article

DevOps Security is the theory and practice of ensuring adequate protection for the whole gamut of DevOps. Known popularly as DevSecOps, the concept requires security to be built into every part of the DevOps SDLC. DevSecOps movement is centred on innovating better solutions for complicated Agile software development methodologies.

Why do you need DevSecOps? The purpose of the discipline is twofold: first,Guest Posting it aims to improve the speed and efficiency of the DevOps process. Second, it works to build security into the DevOps framework from the get-go.

Doing so allows DevOps systems to improve collaboration, enhance development times, and identify vulnerabilities in code at the early stages of the development process. In short, DevSecOps aims to ingrain the culture of security throughout the entire organisation.

In this post, we are going to discuss some of the most popular DevSecOps practices that you can follow in 2021, and beyond. But before that, here’s a short guide to the six steps that you need for implementing DevSecOps.

The Steps to Implement DevSecOps:

  • Delivering code in small, and frequent releases
  • Making the change management process more efficient
  • Continuous compliance monitoring
  • Regular threat investigation and reporting
  • Periodic vulnerability assessments, penetration tests, and systemic scans
  • Timely security training for all engineers, developers, and stakeholders involved

DevSecOps Best Practices

1. Eliminate Development Silos

Involving all stakeholders in the DevSecOps process can make all the difference between success and failure. Usually, development teams and quality assurance teams work in isolated silos. Once any software iteration is ready, the development team hands it over to the quality assurance team for analyses.

This isolated behaviour can lead to communication gaps, which might lead to security lapses in the code. To eliminate this, businesses need to eliminate silos and bring development, security, and operations teams together in a cohesive work environment. Effective inter-team communication can help to overcome challenges early on in the SDLC.

2. Enforce Threat Modelling

Another important DevSecOps practice is threat modelling in order to identify potential security vulnerabilities. This involves analysing existing assets and at the same time checking the controls that are in place to protect those assets. This can help to identify gaps in security and address any potential problems.

This necessitates thorough education of all involved teams. DevOps security is essentially a collective responsibility and must be shouldered by all stakeholders. It’s only through shared responsibility implementation can DevSecOps become an integrated part of the SDLC.

3. Educate Development Teams

In many organisations, development teams still labour under the misconception that there needs to be a trade-off between development speed and security. What developers often fail to realise is that they are entirely responsible for the security of their code.

In most cases, it is seen that developers are not wholly conversant with secure coding practices and techniques. This leads to the development of poor-quality code that leaves room for vulnerabilities.

Adequate DevSecOps training is essential to overcome this drawback. When development and operations teams are well versed in the security best practices, they will be able to create better quality code. This leaves very little room for security vulnerabilities at the source-code level and allows developers to ingrain security in the code itself.

As an added measure of safety, it’s important that developers are also familiar with the latest, industry-specific compliance rules. This can ensure that teams keep these standards in mind when working on their code.

4. Employ Automated Testing

Most organisations in the 21st century use a large amount of third-party open-source code. They do this in order to save the time that would take to develop code from scratch. However, using third-party software components naturally comes with its own caveats.

Due to a lack of automatic bug tracking and remediation methods, flaws are certain to exist in open-source software. And in most cases, developers rarely have time to go through the complete software documentation.

That is why it’s recommended that third-party software components should always be tested using automated testing methods. This step is essential in determining vulnerabilities that are caused due to weak or flawed open-source code.

Proper code analysis helps to determine how third-party dependencies impact your code security. This will certainly help to reduce the time required for remediation. There are a large number of automated utilities available that can check the code for existing dependencies. Such software is efficient enough to eliminate third-party threats before application integration.

5. Enforce Code Simplification

It is a well-known fact of the software industry that simpler code is easier to analyse and correct. When code is simple and easy enough to read, the debugging time naturally goes down. Also, developers are more easily able to work on each other’s code in this case.

At the same time, code simplification allows security teams to efficiently analyse the code for vulnerabilities. In this case, a modular approach to code release and review can help to make the process seamless. Plus, it helps to reduce the chances of vulnerabilities and leads to the creation of better applications.

Final Words

The entire DevSecOps process requires greater collaboration between development and operations teams. At the same time, security teams need to get involved in the process at an early stage, in order to ensure complete software security.

In short, infrastructural and application security needs to be integrated into the process from the very first. This, together with regular and automated testing, can help to avoid last-minute project delays. This not only leads to faster fulfilment of deadlines but also ensures guaranteed customer and client satisfaction.

In conclusion, it can be safely said that DevOps is certainly the future of software development. The methodology has achieved prominence due to the extreme importance of security in the software development process.

Agile teams always work on enforcing frequent releases; as a result, software testing becomes essential. We hope that the concepts outlined in this post will allow you to integrate DevSecOps in your organisational infrastructure.

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About Article Author

Cyril James
Cyril James

Cyril has a solid foundation in the Information Technology and Communication industry with over 13 years of experience. His expertise lies in Information Security, specializing in network, web and mobile applications, and cloud penetration testing across various industry domains like banking, insurance, energy, telecom, IT products and services, and others. He is well-versed in penetration testing methodologies including OWASP, OSSTMM and PTES. He has solid understanding of technical concepts of cloud computing, machine learning, and various programming languages. Cyril is a visionary and strategy-builder, has good communication skills, and is great with managing teams. He has founded and currently leads Secure Triad, a penetration testing services business.

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